LinkedIn Campaign finally evolving. Hopefully they fixed the items that turned campaign creation into chaos

LinkedIn New Objective Based Ads Campaign Creation

LinkedIn’s ad experience is not great. Considering it’s the main work related social media platform, their paid advertisement experience should be great. Lots of companies spend their money on that platform and even after a few years of paid ads on there, that experience continues to suck. Below I discuss some issues I have, and propose a few LinkedIn sponsored content best practices to help you keep your campaigns organized.

It all starts with the creation of a campaign. See a Linkedin Campaign means one ad. It is possible to have more than one ad inside a campaign but the concept of having hierarchical levels does not exist on LinkedIn. Each piece of your campaign is one CAMPAIGN. The ad itself is just the visual part of it (image, text, link) which I agree. That is what an ad is. But when I think of a campaign, I think of a collection of ads under the same theme. The theme would be the arching subject of the campaign and I would configure who to target, when to run and what ad to show. On LinkedIN, each of my those (theme, dates, who to show to and information) needs to be configured separately. There are templates to be reapplied making it easier to get the same target but the confusion can be overwhelming.

One of the main issues I found is the fact that you can’t delete an AD (or a campaign as they call it). You can’t. You can duplicate it, or create a new campaign. Therefore it’s really important to keep a thorough naming convention for your ads, forms and campaigns. That will help you make sense of the mess.

Creating a campaign involves 3 steps: name, goal and ad format.
Creating a campaign involves 3 steps: name, goal and ad format.

I work with multilingual campaigns on LinkedIN and other platforms so I’m used to having a good naming convention to identify all of them, to differentiate per language, per campaign, per ad type, per target, etc… all other campaign factors needed for proper targetting. Still I need to often go back and fix details, something I forgot while creating a campaign. And being unable to delete and restart from zero is annoying. You can disable a campaign and that will disappear from the view, but the ad under that campaign can still be picked up later. This amount of error susceptible factors drive me crazy. I’m visual and a virgo, I have to see to believe. I have to see to make sense. And if it’s not there, then it shouldn’t be there. But an inactive campaign IS STILL THERE!

Another item that can’t be delete is a form. See a form is where you collect information from each campaign. a confusing item here right away is that when configuring a form, failing to ad something and then adding that form to an ad will deem it unchangeable. Once created, configured and applied to an ad that’s it. You can;t change it. It becomes disabled for editing and I can understand why. Any change to a form would affect your conversion rate and your results here you want to be certain that any change is documented so you can properly understand what is working and what is not. My issue here is also not being able to delete a form. I often find myself needing to create a new form and sometimes I just don’t need a certain form anymore. I would like to delete and not see it anymore and have that same naming convention available for another campaign. And if that name is being used by another form I’m gonna have to name it form2-, form3, form4, etc… and that is not ideal. A good way for LinkedIN to allow this would be in my experience would be not being able to delete forms that collected data. Once it collected data then it can’t be deleted. But if it hasn’t please allow me to be able to edit it.

Form editor a LinkedIn Campaign Creator

The other item is LEAD information only available for download for a certain time. I believe you only have 30 days to download your leads otherwise you lose that data. With the amount of server space that LinkedIN has I don’t see why this would be. The only reason for this in my mind is a commercial reason. Taking the responsibility of storing that data from them.

Best practices for multilingual LinkedIn Campaign creation

1) Name your campaigns starting with the language: ES, PT, FR, etc… that way all campaigns for that language will be under that orderly.

2) After identifying your campaigns by language, then use what campaign name, what product, then what ad format(article, carousel, etc..), then finish it with what form it is using (that is useful for you to identify results later, if you have different forms for A/B testing for example).
See naming it starting with the common items first allows you to alphabetically order them and compare and have an idea of the. Leave the variable items for last in the naming convention.
LANGUAGE-CAMPAIGNNAME-PRODUCTNAME-ADFORMAT-FORMFULL

3) LinkedIN now allows for connecting your forms directly to your Salesforce. That is great so you don’t have to keep downloading your leads every often. It all flows seamlesly to your Salesforce CRM. Use a Salesforce campaign code(name) to identify them properly.

4) When a campaign stops and you need to start it again. Then I would recommend to create a new campaign. So you can compare dates, see when it performed better, etc… I know it’s a hassle, configuring everything again is time consuming. But here is when the DUPLICATE feature comes in handy. Use it on situations like this.

5) Never use the LinkedIn proposed spend. I always bid lower than what they recommend. I know they want my money. But me personally, I like to take my budget as far as possible. Even busy executives scan LinkedIN (and Twitter) many times in a day. So reaching them can happen even if you are in a very competitive niche.

 

The new Objective-Based Ads Campaign Manager

According to LinkedIn, the objective-based advertising experience available in MARCH 2019 is a new, streamlined format for LinkedIn Ads campaign creation in the Campaign Manager tool. The new campaign creation flow is designed to:

  • Facilitate easier campaign creation based on marketing objectives
  • Optimize your campaign by showing your ads to people most likely to take the action you want
  • Offer automated bidding for key objectives
  • Provide customized campaign reporting tied to your campaign’s objectives

Those features are all great but I just wish they would make it easier to use, to see reports and generate reports, and edit items in may different ways. Here, Facebook’s ad manager is light years ahead of Linkedin. But nothing beats LinkedIns targetting capabilities, after all every professional is there sharing their companies and their positions and there is not better tool out there to target professionals than LinkedIN. I just wish they would improve their UX, and make their CAMPAIGN MANAGER less confusion and error prone. Take the cue from Facebook which I find i greatly organized.

 

TL;DR

LinkedIns ad platform has pretty bad UX that not only keep you from finding and doing what you want but even make your job harder. It’s easy to duplicate campaigns. Reactivating and duplicating are hard to do but it’s impossible to delete. You can’t delete a campaign. You can’t remove it from your ad profile. Meaning that if you don’t want to see, you have to live with it there (you can disable it). The amount of double work and even the risk of activating or duplicating the wrong campaign is really high.

Max Francisco has been doing digital projects in Brazil and the US for the last 15 years.